For the third consecutive year, iGaming Business has presented its list of the Most Influential Women in the gambling industry. Following last year’s “Bubbling under: the next five”, Kindred’s Head of Responsible Gambling and Research, Maris Catania, stepped into the spotlight as one of the industry’s most influential women 2020. With the ongoing pandemic and the effect it has on women and men balancing work life with family, iGaming Business made it clear that it is even more important to celebrate women who are having a significant influence on our industry.
iGaming Business describes Maris’ work: “Catania was the driving force behind Kindred’s ground-breaking Player Safety Early Detection System (PS-EDS), which industry insiders say has stopped ‘thousands of players from becoming addicted’ by making sure they are ‘caught early so they don’t progress to the addiction stage, thus allowing them to truly learn how to gamble responsibly’.” You can read more about Maris’ nomination here.
Of course, we wanted to congratulate Maris and ask some questions at the same time.
Maris, why do you think you were nominated as one of the Most Influential Women?
I think potentially I was nominated because I had started to work with Responsible Gambling when it was not really on anyone’s agenda. To be fair, the nomination is a testament to the work my team does and the support I get from Kindred. It’s also a testament to the great support and assistance I received over the years from reformed problem gamblers, treatment centres and affected others. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for these people, their contribution and the research they allowed me to do.
What does this nomination mean for you and your work?
I’m humbled, as this is an accomplishment that is usually given to people in executive positions. It’s an honour to see that RG has become a greater focus area.
What made you start working for Kindred?
It was actually never my intention to work in this industry. I was doing my MSc (Master of Sciences) in psychology and had four part-time jobs. A friend of mine told me to try for a job as a fraud analyst, which intrigued me quite a lot. Seeing the amount of data available on consumers and knowing from personal and work experience how devastating a gambling problem can be, I started questioning some things. I didn’t really have anything to lose and that’s why I pushed some boundaries. What started out as a temporary job ended up being my career choice.
What would you like to say to women that are thinking of entering the igaming business?
Go for it. Although at times you will be the only one female in a room, there is nothing stopping you from succeeding. I’ve had my fair share of sexism and ageism, but I also had great moments.
Lastly, - how are you going to celebrate this?
I am going to ponder for the nth time whether or not I should buy the book I have been thinking about!
Once again, we would like to congratulate Maris on her nomination as well as the other 9 women who were nominated.